Zabaleen sidelined by Morsy’s 'clean homeland' campaign

Zabaleen sidelined by Morsy’s 'clean homeland' campaign

Steven Viney in Egypt Independent, on reactions to President Morsi's "Clean Homeland" campaign from the zabaleen community, which handles over half the garbage in Cairo:

So it was of major irritation to members of the Spirit of Youth — an NGO formed by Manshiyet Nasser residents and garbage collectors several years ago to represent the zabaleen and ensure the maintenance of their residences — when Morsy’s “Clean Homeland” campaign coordinators ditched their meetings and ignored their calls for discussions and ideas on how to address the city’s severe waste problems.

“[The campaign] is political propaganda,” says Ezzat Naiem, director of the Spirit of Youth. “They don’t really want to fix Egypt’s waste problems, or discuss how to dispose of the mountains of waste that ends up in zabaleen villages, they want pictures of young Egyptians with brooms for the campaign.”

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.